In a surprising turn of events, Mr. Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-imposed interim Secretary General of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has announced his intention to engage the courts in a bid to disqualify the recalled legislators and councillors from participating in the upcoming December 9 by-elections under the CCC name.
Tshabangu, who spearheaded the recall of 15 legislators and 17 councillors, claims that these individuals have ceased to be party members. However, their successful filing of nominations with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has prompted Tshabangu to take legal action.
In an exclusive interview, Tshabangu expressed his dissatisfaction with the recalled candidates’ use of the party’s name and symbol during the nomination process, calling it a misnomer. He argued that the court’s recent determination, which confirmed the validity of the recalls, should have prevented the candidates from having their papers accepted by the ZEC. With a sense of urgency, Tshabangu declared, “We are making an urgent chamber application in the High Court to have those nominations nullified.”
The situation within the troubled CCC party seems to have further deteriorated, as political analysts suggest a split within its ranks. The party’s decision to field multiple candidates in almost all contested seats, particularly in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South, Harare, and Masvingo provinces, has raised questions about its unity and strategic direction.
The by-elections come as a result of the recalls initiated by the Tshabangu, which claim to be driven by concerns over how the party is being run and allegations of candidates being imposed on the electorate. Tshabangu hinted at the party’s intention to hold an elective congress to reshape its operations and prepare for the 2028 harmonized elections.
He emphasized the need to address internal party democracy, collective decision-making, and the elimination of corrupt practices.
Tshabangu’s decision to contest the nominations through legal means has sparked a debate about the acceptance of recalled candidates by the ZEC. He argues that the former members should have filed as independents, exercising their right to do so, rather than using the party’s name and symbol. It remains to be seen how the courts will respond to this latest development and whether it will impact the by-elections scheduled for December 9.
“Our position is clear, ZEC should never have accepted nomination papers of recalled persons,” said Mr Tshabangu.
“We would not have had any issues had these former members filed as independents, it’s their right anyway but they have no right to use our party name and symbol.”
As the CCC finds itself embroiled in internal divisions and legal battles, the Tshabangu remains optimistic about the future. Tshabangu emphasized the importance of citizen participation in the party’s decision-making processes and pledged to reinstate the party’s constitutional meetings at all levels. With an eye on the future, he announced the party’s commitment to preparing for an elective congress, starting with the election of branch committees.
With the by-elections fast approaching, the fate of the CCC’s recalled candidates hangs in the balance. The legal action initiated by Tshabangu adds another layer of complexity to an already contentious political landscape. As the courts weigh in on the matter, Zimbabwean citizens eagerly await the outcome, which could have far-reaching implications for the country’s electoral process and the future of the CCC itself.